3D Illusion pastel drawing by Rita Romero California artist.This is the finished drawing that I have been working on. I wanted to create a trompe l’oeil drawing-within-a-drawing. Trompe l’oeil is an art technique involving extremely realistic imagery used to create the optical illusion that the depicted objects appear in three dimensions. Some examples of this technique go back to Greek times.

The success of the illusion depends on a shallow field of depth, and a realistic handling of light on the image. As you can see, the light souce in the drawing is coming from the right side, which gets darker across the drawing and casts shadows to the left. The paper is white, so I had to tone it to add darker shades of grey on the left side.

This piece was done on white Strathmore pastel paper with pastel and sanquine. I used pastel to create the texture of the “paper” that is taped to the “wall”. The finished size is 16 x 20, which I will frame without a mat to preserve the illusion.

The model for the inner drawing was my ever-obliging husband. I got the idea for this drawing from a photo I took of a previous drawing of an arm and leg. I had taped it up to photograph it and, when I went to crop it in Photoshop, I really liked the image of the drawing taped up. I thought it would be a challenge and fun to do.